Ministers note AG report

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pretoria – Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), Collins Chabane and Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu have noted the release of the Auditor General’s report.

The Consolidated General Report on national and provincial audit outcomes 2011-2012, which was released on Tuesday by Auditor General Terence Nombembe, showed that only 117 out of a total 536 audited government entities received a clean audit.

It revealed that the overall audit outcomes for national and provincial government had regressed.

“The DPME will study the report and determine a response to address these challenges,” said his department.

Sisulu congratulated Nombembe on his leadership. “I have taken note of the report. Through his time of stewardship, we’ve seen a decisive shift towards accountability in the financial matters of the state,” said Sisulu at the media briefing.

The AG said there was still a need to focus on service delivery (or predetermined objectives), supply chain management and well as issues of human resource management. “We’re still seeing a need to focus on these areas that required our previous concentration. The issue of service delivery is something whose administration in government still needs to be strengthened,” said Nombembe.

The issues mentioned by Nombembe, including the issue of procurement, were being taken seriously, explained Sisulu.

The audit outcomes, according to Chabane, are consistent with the Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT) findings government reported on last year.

The DPME last year conducted an assessment of 103 departments through the MPAT which identified some of the challenges that lead to qualified audit outcomes. The tool is used to determine the performance of departments against good management practice standards related to strategic management, human resource, financial, supply chain and governance.

The MPAT report provides departments with an early warning system of the weaknesses they have in their management and systems which ultimately lead them to poor audits. The process also allows departments to have a thorough understanding of their challenges.

The assessments have identified a number of areas that need improvement and further attention in many departments, which include: the use of monitoring and evaluation to inform improvements to policies, programmes and service delivery.

Chabane said the DPME will continue to carry out these assessments on an annual basis and include the rest of departments and produce a report. The next report is expected to be concluded around June this year, he told the briefing.

This he said will enable Cabinet to track whether management practices are improving in departments. Ministers are also being requested to ensure that their Directors General put in place improvement plans to address challenges identified in the MPAT assessments and subsequently in audit reports. –